President Cyril Ramaphosa’s second term bid as ANC leader received a big boost on Monday (9 May) when his close ally Oscar Mabuyane was re-elected as the party’s Eastern Cape chairperson.
Mabuyane received 812 of the 1,477 votes cast, trumping his challenger, former provincial treasurer Babalo Madikizela, who garnered 662.
Mabuyane supports Ramaphosa’s second term bid
Mabuyane has already publicly stated that he supports the re-election of Ramaphosa for a second term as ANC President at the party’s December’s national conference.
His margin of victory, which was wider than expected, signals that the President could be assured of stronger support in the Eastern Cape, one of the party’s largest provinces in terms of membership.
Madikizela has been associated with former Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize, who is reportedly seeking a position in the ANC’s top 6. However, he denied his alleged support for Mkhize over the weekend, insisting that he is likely to support Ramaphosa’s re-election bid.
Besides Mabuyane and Madikizela, Limpopo chairperson Stan Mathabatha and Northern Cape chairperson Saul Zamani have also expressed support for Ramaphosa.
Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu is reported to be preparing to challenge Ramaphosa and has received support from some quarters, including from ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) member Tony Yengeni.
Mabuyane’s slate won a clean sweep of Eastern Cape’s ANC top five positions. Mlungisi Mvoko was elected deputy chairperson, Lulama Ngcukaitobi provincial secretary, Helen August deputy provincial secretary and Zolile Williams provincial treasurer.
Andile Lungisa, who is a stringent critic of Ramaphosa and his administration, lost out on the provincial treasurer position. He is also associated with the ANC’s “radical economic transformation” (RET) faction.
The conference, which started on Friday, experienced long delays as the rival groups haggled over credentials. It had to be extended by an extra day and voting only got underway late on Sunday night/early Monday morning.
Several NEC members have been seen at the conference, including Ronald Lamola, who is reportedly seeking support for the ANC Deputy President position in December.
Ramaphosa is expected to deliver a keynote address at the conference at 4pm on Monday.